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Jewish Terms and their Meanings

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Gabba'im Roman tax collectors.
Gabbai A lay person who performs some function at religious services.
Galut, Golah The Hebrew term galut expresses the Jewish conception of the condition and feelings of a nation uprooted from its homeland and subject to alien rule; exile or captivity.
Gan Eden The garden in Eden
Gaon, Geonim Formal title of the heads of the academies of Sura and Pumbedita in Babylonia. Apparently, the term gaon was shortened from "rosh yeshivat ge'on Ya'akov", meaning "the pride of Jacob".
Ge'ulei Teiman "The redeemed from Yemen".
Ge'ulim "Redeemed ones".
Ge'ullah "Redemption"; the title of several prayers.
Gebinah Cheese
Gebrochts Literally "broken"; used for any matzah product that has contact with a liquid. Jews who observe this rule may not eat matzah dumplings ("knaydelach").
Gedolah Great, major; an adult.
Gelilah The lifting and rolling of the Torah scroll in the synagogue. Same as "Hagbahah".
Gemara "Completion" or "Tradition"; a word popularly applied to the Talmud as a whole, or more particularly to the discussions and elaborations by the amoraim on the Mishnah.
Gematria One of the aggadic hermeneutical rules for interpreting the Torah, consisting of explaining a word or group of words according to the numerical value of the letters.
Gemilut Hasadim "The bestowal of lovingkindness", which encompasses the whole range of the duties of sympathetic consideration toward one's fellow man.
Genevat nefesh Kidnapping, stealing a human being.
Genizah Literally "storing", a place for storing books or ritual objects which have become unusable.
Geonim See "Gaon".
Ger Zedek Proselyte to Judaism.
Gerusia A council of elders.
Get A bill of divorce, same as "sefer keritut".
Gezerah Shavah, Gezerah Shawah A method of interpreting texts by comparing similar expressions. Originally it was a purely logical principle, but it was easily misapplied and soon Scriptures were explained totally out of context by appeals to mere similarities in words.
Gezerat ha-Sheniyyot Legislation regulating the number of Jews in Bohemia, Moravia, and Silesia entitled to found families. The laws were introduced by Charles VI in 1726–27 to curtail the number of the Jewish population. The number of families fixed was 8,451 for Bohemia, 5106 for Moravia, and 119 for Silesia.
Gilgul Transmigration of souls, reincarnation.
Gilui Arayot "The uncovering of nakedness"; sexual offenses.
Gittin "Divorces"; tractate in the Mishnah.
Glatt Kosher Stricter than kosher, this includes an inspection of the animal's lungs.
Goi, Goy, Goiim, Goyim This Hebrew word means "a nation". In the Bible it applies to all nations, including Israel. Jewish usage of this word is limited to the meaning "non-Jew".
Golem A creature, particularly a human being, made in an artificial way by virtue of a magic act, through the use of holy names. The idea that it is possible to create living beings in this manner is widespread in the magic of many peoples.
Goral Lots, lottery.
Gurjim Vernacular for "Georgians", from the Hebrew "Geruzyah" for "Georgia".
Gut Shabbes A good Sabbath